Written on July 14th, 2008 by Oliver Kim
What are the differences between declarative and procedural knowledge? Declarative knowledge is the knowledge of facts, procedural knowledge is the knowledge on “how to” do something. For example: I know that 5+5=10 (declarative) and I know how to calculate (procedural).
Knowledge, according to Plato, is justified true belief. But this definition does not cover all types of knowledge. You know how to read, for example. This type of knowledge is not based on belief, justification or truth. In this edition we will discuss two different types of knowledge:
- Declarative Knowledge: This includes the knowledge of facts. Some examples could include the knowledge that 5+5=10, the knowledge that the radius of the earth is about 6500km, the knowledge that ice is less dense than liquid water. Declarative knowledge can easily be communicated from person to person.
- Procedural Knowledge: This type of knowledge includes the knowledge on how to do something. Someone may know how to sing or dance or ride a bicycle. You also know how to solve certain mathematical problems, or you may know how to use a microscope. Procedural knowledge also requires practice and hands-on experience.
Questions for Discussion:
- Try to find examples for declarative and procedural knowledge in the different areas of knowledge, such as the sciences, history and the arts.
- Babies know how to cry. Some forms of procedural knowledge are present from birth onward. Try to find other examples!